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Bus operator axing five services in Aber areea

03 July 2013

A BUS operator has confirmed that it is axing five services in the Aberystwyth area. And a local councillor says the decision has been forced by major funding cuts.

Arriva has admitted that it is scrapping the numbers 1 and 2 services around Aberystwyth, Waunfawr and Penparcau, as well as the number 10 service to Swansea, and 510 and 512 evening services, claiming that it cannot afford to run the services. They will end from Sunday 28 July. And Alun Williams, Ceredigion Council’s cabinet member for transport, has said the decision was likely to have been influenced by funding cuts of 25 per cent to Welsh Government grants to bus operators.

A statement from Arriva said: “It is with regret we confirm that, from Sunday, 28 July, Arriva Aberystwyth will no longer operate services 1, 2, 10 to Swansea, and the 510 and 512 evening tendered services. “We apologise to our customers, but it has become clear that despite our best efforts to operate as efficiently as possible, the revenue is no longer covering the cost of operating these journeys. Services 20, 40, 50 and 585 will continue to operate with no changes to timetable.

“The Arriva Aberystwyth depot and Dolgellau outstation will remain open, and as always we will continue to monitor the performance of the services the depot continue to operate.”

Cllr Williams said that although the service reductions were a blow, Ceredigion Council had found an alternative operator, Mid Wales Travel, for the tendered service, and that he was hopeful that alternative commercial services could benefit from the loss of the Arriva commercial services.

He said: “Whilst I can’t speak for Arriva, who are a private company, the withdrawals undoubtedly relate to the cut of 25 per cent by the Welsh Government in Bus Services Operators Grant) from £22.6m to £17m this year, which reduces the money payable to them for running services. “Of the services being withdrawn, only the 510 and 512 services are part-funded by the local authority and the council has now succeeded in arranging for these services to be provided instead by Mid Wales Travel from 29 July. The other services being withdrawn are commercial only.

“The withdrawals are clearly bad news. However, with regard to the 1 and 2, it is likely that other over-lapping services, run by more local companies, will now pick up additional custom so those services will hopefully be strengthened.” 

 

Click here for the full story, or see this week's Aberystwyth edition of the Cambrian News

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